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Sinn Fein PMB: Youth Employment Motion

Vote from 20/11/2013

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Sinn Fein used Private Members Business (PMB) this week to move a motion by Deputy Jonathan O'Brien on Youth Employment. In these circumstances the Government usually offers an amendment of the motion to Deputies and they vote accordingly on the motion as amended by the line Minister and Government.

The following amended motion was carried 74/43 in favour of the Government

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Background information

Dail Eireann notes that:

- the number of people in employment grew by 34,000 in the year ending June 2013, compared with a reduction of employment of more than 300,000 in the three year period ending March 2011;

- the rate of unemployment in Ireland has fallen to 13.2 per cent at the end of October 2013, down from a peak of over 15 per cent in early 2012;

- the number of people unemployed, seasonally adjusted, at the end of the second quarter of 2013 is 296,000, down 22,000 on the first quarter of 2012;

- the number of unemployed young people aged under 25, seasonally adjusted, has fallen to 60,000, a reduction of 20,000 since it peaked in 2009;

- the seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment for young people has fallen to 28 per cent in recent months, down from a peak of over 31 per cent in early 2012;

- notwithstanding these positive developments, unemployment, and in particular youth unemployment, remains a serious concern;

- the Government:

has prioritised actions to stimulate employment creation and reduce unemployment under the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work strategies; economic recovery and employment creation resulting from these policies will be the surest way to improve the unemployment situation, both overall and for young people;

- prioritised youth unemployment as an issue to be addressed at European Union level, leading to agreement, under Ireland’s Presidency, of a Council Recommendation for a Youth Guarantee; this recommendation calls on member states to guarantee each unemployed young person under the age of 25 a job, training or education opportunity within four months of registering as unemployed; and

- is preparing a plan for the implementation of the Recommendation commencing in 2014; the plan will build on the existing large-scale provision of training, education and work experience places for unemployed young people, and will be transmitted to the European Commission by the end of 2013;

- the cost of the existing provision for unemployed young people is substantial – estimated to have been at least €170 million in 2012 – and expanded provision will be required; initial provisions totalling €46 million have been made across several Government Departments in budget 2014;

- in this context, it is to be welcomed that Ireland is likely to receive supporting funding from the EU, under the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund, of approximately €60 million in respect of each of the years 2014 and 2015; and

agrees that:

- the continuing growth in employment and the reduction in unemployment are to be welcomed;

- the Government should continue in its efforts to further increase employment and reduce unemployment, with a particular and urgent focus on youth unemployment;
and
- the implementation in Ireland of the Youth Guarantee, agreed under Ireland’s Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, should form a pivotal part of the Government’s response to the challenge of youth unemployment.

- (Minister for Social Protection)

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